No one’s trying to pretend that the Royal Family is “just like us.” We don’t know about you, but we don’t personally split our time between several palaces. No one’s yet been in touch to televise our wedding. We wish we had a collection of Jenny Packham and Alexander McQueen dresses, but alas, that’s not the case.
But despite all their luxuries, they’re still people trying to adjust to the new normal of life in a pandemic as best they can. And some of what they deal with is a (very fancy, rich person’s) version of what the rest of us are struggling to get through, too.
Namely: dealing with kids, and doing math.
Earlier this week Prince William was on an episode of “That Peter Crouch Podcast,” a popular British podcast hosted by a retired athlete, a sports journalist and a BBC radio host.
When one of the hosts asked him what he’d learned from homeschooling his kids, the future king of England self-deprecatingly replied, “Probably that my patience is a lot shorter than I thought it was,” he said.
“That’s probably been the biggest eye opener for me,” he said.
He added that his wife, Kate Middleton, “has super patience” and is better at teaching the kids than he is.
“We’re a good sort of team tag session, where I come in and have a chat with the children and try to get them to do stuff, and then hand over to Catherine when, frankly, everything’s gone wrong.”
He also said it was distressing to learn that his math skills were not quite up to snuff.
“I have to say, I was a bit embarrassed about my maths knowledge. I mean, can’t do Year Two maths, so that was a bit of an eye-opener as well.”
His oldest son Prince George, who turned seven last week, is in Year Two, similar to Canadian Grade Two. The U.K. curriculum for that year involves addition and subtraction of two-digit numbers, recognizing 2D and 3D shapes, interpretation of pictographs and — crucially — simple fractions. Those can be hard!
William and Kate have acknowledged the difficult circumstances facing parents before, and have visited health-care workers and posted videos of their three kids thanking the people on the front lines.
Prince William was on the podcast to talk about his work with Heads Up, a campaign he’s started with the help of professional soccer players to help men talk about mental health. He chatted about his sports heroes and the worst gift he’s ever given Kate, and impressed the host by having curry delivered from their favourite takeout. Prince William likes Indian food, but keeps away from the very spicy stuff, he said: “I’m not a vindaloo man.”
At the beginning of the conversation, when the hosts ask him how he should addressed, he tells them to call him Your Royal Highness, which they’re willing to do until he tells them he’s just kidding and they can call him by his name.
“I’ve been called all sorts, but William will do.”